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Star TV India CEO meets Advani

July 28, 2003 20:13 IST

Star's Indian operations chief Peter Mukerjea on Monday met Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani even as the government asked the group to rush its responses to its latest questions on its application for uplinking its news channel from India.

"It was a private meeting,"  Mukerjea, the group's chief executive officer, told reporters after the 30-minute meeting refusing to disclose any details.

Home Secretary N Gopalaswami was also present at the meeting.

Meanwhile, information and broadcasting ministry officials have asked Star to rush the responses to the latest set of queries sought by the government, sources said.

The inter-ministerial group looking into the issue would submit its recommendations after the replies from Star and from there the matter will move into the hands of a three-member group of ministers.

Apprehending that Star's proposal for uplinking its 24-hour news channel smelt of 'proxy' editorial control by foreigners, a letter was sent to it pointing out that the spirit of guidelines was to vest editorial control in the hands of resident Indians.

Based on the 600-page set of clarifications given by it to the government earlier last week, the government asked if Media Content and Communication Services was the content provider then what role did Star, a foreign company, have to play.

Star News is now operating on a two-week long permission for temporary uplinking ending on August 6 after getting four weekly extensions after June 26, when the deadline for meeting the guidelines, setting a 26 per cent cap on news channels for uplinking from India, expired.

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